Last week, we told you about an EPA administrator who compared his agency’s treatment of the oil industry to how Romans treated villages they conquered. The comment was met with outrage in conservative circles, understandably so, and gave a peak into how the oil industry is truly viewed in the Obama Administration.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that the EPA administrator, Al Armendariz, who made the comment has now resigned and apologizes for what he said:
The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South Central region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe how he would go after companies violating environmental laws.
In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
“I have come to the conclusion that my continued service will distract you and the agency from its important work,” Armendariz wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the AP.
Republicans in Congress had called for Armendariz’ firing after Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe highlighted the May 2010 speech last week as proof of what he refers to as EPA’s assault on energy, particularly the technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
President Barack Obama appointed Armendariz in November 2009 at the urging of Texas-based environmental groups.
We’ve often wondered why President Barack Obama and his administration have had such a hostile view of oil companies. He insists that drilling up during his term, but Obama is taking credit for policies enacted by his predecessor. But much like his attacks on higher-income earners, Obama has targeted the oil industry and speculators with harsh rhetoric in attempt to distract Americans from his own failed energy policies.
We know that Obama’s own Energy Secretary is on record supporting higher gas prices. Obama has said himself that he didn’t have a problem with the cost of gas, rather that they rose too quickly. So we know where the rhetoric and proposed regulations are coming from. But there is something deeper here?
Via the Heritage Foundation, a video has surfaced where a regional administrator from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the treatment of oil companies in the regulatory agency is “kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage over the next few years”:
While Barack Obama says that his administration is concerned about rising energy costs and has an “all of the above” energy plan, the Environmental Protection Agency has imposed new carbon emissions regulations new coal plants:
The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants as early as Tuesday, according to several people briefed on the proposal. The move could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.
The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.
Industry officials and environmentalists said in interviews that the rule, which comes on the heels of tough new requirements that the Obama administration imposed on mercury emissions and cross-state pollution from utilities within the past year, dooms any proposal to build a coal-fired plant that does not have costly carbon controls.
While it’s not a thorough victory for property rights, the Supreme Court did beat back overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a unanimous decision issued on Wednesday that will give property owners recourse when they are threatened with fines for alleged environmental damage:
The Supreme Court has sided with an Idaho couple in a property rights case, ruling they can go to court to challenge an Environmental Protection Agency order that blocked construction of their new home and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day.
Wednesday’s decision is a victory for Mike and Chantell Sackett, whose property near a scenic lake has sat undisturbed since the EPA ordered a halt in work in 2007. The agency said part of the property was a wetlands that could not disturbed without a permit.
In an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court rejected EPA’s argument that allowing property owners quick access to courts to contest orders like the one issued to the Sacketts would compromise the agency’s ability to deal with water pollution.
“Compliance orders will remain an effective means of securing prompt voluntary compliance in those many cases where there is no substantial basis to question their validity,” Scalia said.
In this case, the couple objected to the determination that their small lot contained wetlands that are regulated by the Clean Water Act, and they complained there was no reasonable way to challenge the order without risking fines that can mount quickly.
Because, seriously, it appears that government regulators have no idea what they’re doing or talking about.
In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set a quota for a type of biofuel that does not exist outside of laboratories, and gasoline producers are racking up millions of dollars in fines for it. From the New York Times:
When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.
But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.
“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.
In 2012, the oil companies expect to pay even higher penalties for failing to blend in the fuel, which is made from wood chips or the inedible parts of plants like corncobs. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year.
You betcha, Charlie. It makes absolutely no sense. How can you add in something that does not exist? And then raise the quota for it? Let’s ask the spokesperson:
At a time when the economy is need of jobs, a new emissions rule about to be put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency will likely be a jobs killer:
House investigators suggested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not act in “good faith” when it assessed the economic impact of a new emissions regulation, and called for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to require EPA to revisit that rule, which they believe could cost 186,000 jobs per year.
“The [House Oversight and Government Relations] Committee is not satisfied that EPA has conducted a good faith analysis of the employment impact of the [Utility Mact] rule” regarding coal emissions, wrote Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and the head of the regulations panel Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. “EPA’s jobs analysis failed to look at the impact that higher energy prices would have on employment,” they continued, also noting that “a study by the National Economic Research Associates found that average retail electricity prices will increase by an average of 6.5 percent and result in a loss of 186,000 jobs per year due to the cumulative impact of the rules.”
The representatives also questioned the effect of the Utility MACT rule on the electric grid, which might prove less reliable if the rule goes into effect. “EPA’s steadfast refusal to ascertain the impact its regulatory actions will have on grid reliability is troubling,” Issa and Jordan wrote. “[I]t appears that EPA has purposefully ignored grid reliability issues.”
The smugness of this administration is never ending:
President Obama today will announce new fuel efficiency standards that will save American businesses that operate and own commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. These work trucks, buses, and other medium- and heavy duty vehicleswill be required to meet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for the first time ever beginning in 2014.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program.
“While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”
That liberals believe they know what’s best for everyone else is nothing new. What’s fascinating to me is seeing the Barack Obama, the President of the United States, purport that others harbor the same religious reverence for him that he has for himself. He claims that the very individuals that run private corporations have more faith in him to run their businesses than they have in themselves. Here Obama is painting the picturing of the economy bowing at his feat, begging “tell us what to do, oh mighty one!”
On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in an opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that environmental policy is a matter that shouldn’t be worked out through the judicial system:
In the most significant global warming case to reach its front doors, the Supreme Court on Monday blocked a major lawsuit brought by states and environmental groups against five large power companies they accused of creating a public nuisance because of carbon dioxide emissions.
The court ruled 8-0 that the authority to set standards for reducing emissions lies with the Environmental Protection Agency, under air pollution rules established by the Clean Air Act. The court said just because the EPA hasn’t acted yet doesn’t mean that its authority is no longer valid.
The Clean Air Act “provides a means to seek limits on emissions of carbon dioxide from domestic power plants — the same relief the plaintiffs seek by invoking federal common law. We see no room for a parallel track,” reads the order written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“If EPA does not set emissions limits for a particular pollutant or source of pollution, states and private parties may petition for a rulemaking on the matter, and EPA’s response will be reviewable in federal court,” the decision continues.
The decision isn’t really anything to get overly excited about. The court did what it was supposed to do. Hopefully, Congress will find a way to prevent the EPA from implementing cap-and-trade through regulatory fiat.
Climate change. The mere mention of the term is bound to stir deep seated emotions regardless of political ideology, though that particular ideology may dictate what nature those emotions take. However, it’s difficult for many people to take it seriously. Why is that? Because they’ve been wrong before.
From The Daily Caller:
During the hearing, Republican Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and John Barrasso of Wyoming questioned the supposed need to enact policies to combat global warming by pointing to similar predictions in the 1970s of a global cooling phenomenon.
The exchange started with Barrasso addressing the committee’s witness, Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Jackson.
“Forty years ago, the same scientists that are predicting the end of the world now from global warming were predicting the end of the world from global cooling,” said Barrasso. “So if we had committed the same amount of taxpayer resources and government manpower that the administration now wants us to commit to prevent global warming — if we’d done that prevent global cooling, we wouldn’t be the most prosperous nation on earth.”
He continued: “The fact is that the same doomsday predictions we were getting 40 years is the exact same thing this agency and this administration today. Only now…the problem is man-made global warming.”